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Decade: Rating: List Type:
Best Episode: "The Light Above"
The "Preacher" comics are one of my favorite comic series of all time. I always enjoyed the show but I felt like season 3 was when they really hit it out of the park. Straight adapting the comics would be difficult but I think the show is really starting to pull it off. It goes between comedy, horror, action, fantasy, and comic book fun sometimes in one scene. Betty Buckley as Gran'ma made for a real terrifying villain this season. Jonny Coyne as The Allfather was also a real treat as an antagonist for the season. But the show's greatest strength is the main cast. Ruth Negga continues to be a hilarious badass, Joe Gilgun is as charming as always, and Dominic Cooper has really surprised me with both how he stays faithful to the source material while still making it his own. But Pip Torrens practically steals every scene he is in and is the perfect Herr Starr. I'm really excited to see what season 4 brings. It's one of the most entertaining shows on tv.
Best Episode: "Alice in Slaughterland"/"Two of Us"
One of the best horror shows on tv. Who would have guessed adapting creepypasta stories would work so well? Season 3 and 4 back to back not only provided good creepy thrills but gave us just great tv in general. The Dream Door in particular gave a character that should be a horror icon: Pretzel Jack. I feel like if these were movies more people would be talking about them. I find myself still thinking about the images and scares this show produced. I really recommend everyone checking it out.
Best Episode: "Episode 3"
I never knew anything about this true story so it made watching this a real journey. Hugh Grant has really been in some amazing things lately. This isn't an easy part to play. He has to play a man desperate for power but still forcing himself to hide a huge part of his identity. It's both a little tragic but still scary to watch a man abuse his power to gain more power. Ben Whishaw is great too and he has excellent chemistry with Grant. I really liked that the series also didn't feel the need to stretch out episodes or the season and told a nice, neatly packed story.
Best Episode: "Nobody is Ever Missing"
It's really fun to watch a wealthy family's messed up life. When I first heard about this, I had no real interest in this. But giving this show a chance not only gave us an amazing cast but some of the most quotable lines of dialogue this year. Brian Cox is fantastic as always but my favorite was Jeremy Strong. His performance especially in the finale was heartbreaking of a man who is never good enough for his family. I was never bored with this show and loved watching this family fight.
Best Episode: "Creator/Destroyer"
The People vs. OJ was one of the best pieces of television I have ever seen. It got a lot of attention in 2016 and gave us one of the best casts for a show ever. This season didn't get as much attention but I still really enjoyed it and it talked about something we still need to talk about: LGBTQ+ lives and rights. Much like the last season, the cast really was fantastic. Darren Criss played a creepy sociopath really well, Edgar Ramirez had one of the best portrayals of what it means to be an artist, and Penelope Cruz played a grieving and strong woman without doing an imitation of Donatella. What I loved what they did was give time to the victims and showed just how crimes like this affect loved ones. The way the show played with time too was interesting. I really hope people check this one out too as I think like The People vs. OJ, it talks about a lot of important issues.
Best Episode: "Leyenda"
With the story of the Columbia cartels done, moving the show to Mexico was a smart move. Mexico with its history and people behind hit certainly would make for a great show. Not only did it turn out to be fantastic, but it ended up being the best of the series. Michael Peña and Diego Luna made for great protagonists that were different from the previous ones. Kiki was much more of an asshole but Peña still played him as a man who just really cares about justice and stopping evil. Luna also played this much more like a sociopath than previous antagonists on the show. He wasn't overtly emotional but there was a hidden aggression of a man who could snap at any moment and kill you. The rest of the cast was good too especially Joaquín Cosío, who ended up being fun to watch. What was interesting about this season too was just how depressing and horrifying it was. From the moment it started, you could feel it would only end in tragedy. It's a sad story but one that needed to be told. And with the way the season ends, I couldn't be more excited for next season.
Best Episode: "Monsoon Mambo"
It's a shame this show was cancelled. The show was able to be entertaining while still touching on subjects like racism, sexism, homophobia, class, etc. James Purefoy and Michael K. Williams were born to play these parts. And with this season, they and the show were at their best. The mystery was thrilling and there were twists and turns that always kept things interesting. I'm hoping Netflix picks this show up as there are so much more stories that can be told.
Best Episode: "Piñata"
As the show gets closer and closer to the Breaking Bad timeline, things are getting darker. Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Michael Mando, and Jonathan Banks all gave award worthy performances. Odenkirk especially balanced out the last bit of Jimmy and humanity he had left as Saul Goodman slowly takes over his life. Banks' journey further into Gus' empire was both tragic and exciting to watch. The introduction of Lalo Salamanca looks to make things really cool for next season. The show continues to have some of the best looking shots on tv along with some of the best directed scenes.
Best Episode: "I Have a Thing About Bathrooms"
I love when a show embraces the fact it is a genre show and is willing to have a sense of humor about it all. What really helps things is Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh are such amazing actresses that you wish episodes would be longer. Comer played an absolutely psychotic villain and she was a blast to watch. You always questioned her motivations and even liked her certain times. Oh balanced out the comedy and drama very well and she showed why she deserves more starring roles. Spy dramas normally didn't captivate but lately shows like this make for a thrilling and compelling time.
Best Episode: "START"
Final seasons are really hard to do. You have to complete character arcs, finish the story as a whole, and leave it emotionally satisfying for the audience. This final season is one of the best examples on how to end a season. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys showed why they were the most underrated actors on television Rhys especially had a difficult final scene on the finale that was one of my favorite scenes this year. Like previous seasons, it was a slow burn but that made the final episodes thrilling once the shit was hitting the fan. The show always got a lot of notice from critics but never quite the same from viewers. I really hope now that it is over, people check this show out and make it the classic it deserves to be.
Best Episode: "Part 5"
I really want to see Ben Stiller direct more thrillers and drama after watching this. I'm sure everyone remembers the story of the prison inmates who escaped with the help of a woman who worked there (while also having affairs with her). It could have been easy to mess this up and become cheesy. But with Stiller's tight direction and the performances it becomes an intense disaster waiting to happen. Even characters who don't have a lot of screen time make an impression. Out of everyone though it's Patricia Arquette and Benicio Del Toro who I have enjoyed the most. Benicio somehow finds the balance between playfulness and a creeping nature of a violent man who belongs in prison. Arquette (and Stiller) make no excuses for her but still instill into her a sense of a woman who expected more from her life and is stuck in the cycle of poverty. I talked about Stiller's direction but it really is something. There's a one take shot in episode 5 that is one of the best I have ever seen. Along with some of the most captivating shots this year, this is one I will be thinking about for a long time.
Best Episode: "Two Storms"
It's been an amazing year for horror. I've never read the book but from what I hear it is both a good adaptation of the source material while also making it, its own. It's really cool to see a classic haunted house horror show with all the good scares that come with ghosts and malevolent spirits. It's hard to pick a favorite among the cast but I loved Carla Gugino and Victoria Pedretti. Gugino in particular ended up showing why she is one of the most underrated actors working today. I'm really excited to see what other horrors Mike Flanagan brings in the future.
Best Episode: "Dark Side of the Boob"/"Smooch or Share"
I didn't watch this show when it first came out but the day season 2 came out, I binged the entire first and second seasons. Not only was the second season even more hilarious but it gave one of the year's best characters: The Shame Wizard played with a delicious wickedness by David Thewlis. The show brilliantly made him the antagonist this season but also showed why shame is needed in growing up. I talk about Thewlis but really I love the whole cast and each character revealed something about themselves that made for complex people. More importantly though, it was even funnier than before.
Best Episode: "The Good Twin"
Season 1 was really good but this season was even better. Focusing on getting these matches ready while trying to find producers made for an exciting season. Alison Brie and Marc Maron were great as always but I really liked Kia Stevens and her story this season with trying to figure out if it is worth playing an offensive character just to get paid. I've never been much of a wrestling fan but this show uses wrestling as a means to tell a story about sexism, racism, LGBTQ+ rights, regret, celebrity, fame, and love. The direction also makes these matches exciting and you see why this form of entertainment has such a dedicated fan base. I can't wait to see what season 3 will bring.
Best Episode: "The C, the C, the Open C"
Having read the book, I can say that this adaptation of the novel is actually better than the source material. Even if this hadn't had the horror of a demon hunting them, it still would have been a thrilling hallowing piece of storytelling. Of course with something like this, it helps having an amazing cast. This is Jared Harris' best performance of his career. He has to play a very melancholic and uncharismatic man. Yet, he still makes him compelling. Tobias Menzies peeled layers upon a man who ended up being one of the most sympathetic characters in the entire series. And you also had Adam Nagaitis, for a real good villainous turn. The barren snow and ice seems like it would be boring yet I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen. It truly was the best horror I saw this year.
Best Episode: "The Dump"
The first season was hilarious but surprisingly was a poignant look at high school life and culture. This season was even better than the first. Travis Tope as Kevin was different from Dylan. He's weird but Tope plays him as a kid who is playing a role the school thinks he is and someone who is just afraid of opening themselves to friends. The breakout star of this is definitely Melvin Gregg though. You think one way about him but as the season goes on you start to see the person he actually is. The show in general really ended up being a great look at social media and how it influences our lives. It's much more complex than just calling it "good or bad". I really hope the show can find another home cause I want to see what the writers have in store.
Best Episode: "Love is the Message"
I am so glad that a team of LGBTQ+ writers and directors worked on this show. This could have easily delved into "misery porn". But what I think the show does so brilliantly is show the hardships that come from being in this community but show the love and beauty that comes with it too. Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Billy Porter, and Ryan Jamaal Swain all were fantastic. Porter has become the breakout star of this (and rightfully so) but really there isn't a weak link among the cast. This also had some of the most beautifully directed scenes I have seen this year.
Best Episode: "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast, and Keep Going"
I love Bill Hader. I knew the moment this show was announced, I was going to check this out. This ended up being not only one of the best comedies this year but one of the best acted shows this year. Hader showed he has the chops to be a dramatic actor especially towards the end of the season. There's a scene in episode 7 that is one of the best pieces of acting this year. And still even in the darkest moments of the show, it was still really funny. Henry Winkler rightfully won an Emmy and showing why he is such a national treasure. Anthony Carrigan practically stole every scene. Really even one scene characters made an impression. It is clear Hader and the writers know what they are doing and I look forward to what next season brings.
Best Episode: "Part Five"
I love true crime documentaries about these bizarre crimes and people that have been lost to time. Never heard about this story so I was blown away by every twist and turn. I mean, an entire documentary could have just been about Sheela. The show touched on a lot from racism, xenophobia, counter-culture, and the things we are willing to do to hold onto a way of life. Check this out if you haven't but try to go in it without knowing anything.
Best Episode: "Teddy Perkins"
Every single episode of this season was a masterpiece. The moment the first episode started I knew it was going to be special. The first season was excellent but this season took it to another level. Every actor gave performances worthy of attention. But the MVP was clearly Brian Tyree Henry. He says so much just with a look. Society says one thing about him but deep down he is a sad and lonely man. This season also gave us one of the best episodes of tv I have ever seen: Teddy Perkins. Perkins I have a feeling will on to be a classic piece of television. It's like a mini-horror movie was thrown into the middle of the season. And even without that episode the season gave us the Barbershop episode, Woods, North of the Border, and The Alligator Man. The show also is able to incorporate themes of racism, fame, celebrity, mental illness, class, sexism, etc. all within the context of whatever crazy thing is happening on screen. The entire team behind this show is brilliant.
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